After more than a month since its last match, the women’s squash team managed to capture its first Ivy League victory of the season against Dartmouth at the Brady Squash Center on Saturday.
Despite coming off a few weeks of winter vacation, the Elis (3–1, 1–1 Ivy) delivered a dominant performance, beating the Big Green (1–2, 0–2 Ivy) in all nine positions while only dropping a total of two games. The Bulldogs, ranked No. 4 in the College Squash Association’s recent national rankings, defeated a Dartmouth squad that was ranked No. 9 in the country going into Saturday’s match.
Playing at the No. 3 position was team captain Alia Aziz ’10, who won three games by scores of 11–7, 11–2, 11–3.
“It was a nice culmination to a week of training after coming back to school and working hard,” Aziz said. “They were pretty good, but we were just the better team. Dartmouth is pretty young, especially at the top of their lineup.”
After losing a tough match to Penn by a score of 8–1 on Dec. 5, the Bulldogs were able to use the loss to the Quakers as a source of encouragement for their match against Dartmouth.
“Penn reminded us that there are some really good teams out there,” Aziz said. “We need to make sure that we are on top of our game and keeping up on our fitness. At the end of the day, the healthiest team has the best chance to win.”
The Elis were in top form against the Big Green, receiving great performances from Katharine Ettinger ’10 at the No. 9 spot and Rhetta Nadas ’12 at the No. 4 spot. Ettinger managed to only give up a total of 10 points to her opponent, and Nadas only lost 11 points to Dartmouth’s Hannah Conant.
When asked how the team performed at such a high level, head coach David Talbott credited the Elis with having a strong focus and solid preparation. Team members trained on their own over break, in addition to having two practices a day upon their return this week.
“We had the advantage of being back all week, so the girls were able to play really focused,” Talbott said. “The girls have been working hard on some of the weaknesses that were exposed during the Penn match, and as a result all of our coaches are very pleased.”
The Elis are playing well during a busy part of their season, as Caroline Reigeluth ’11 has referred to the next couple of weeks as the “brunt” of the season.
“We came in against Dartmouth pretty confident about it and everyone knew what they needed to do,” Reigeluth said. “We were happy that everyone could pull out a win because, as a more talented team, it is easy to become unfocused and start playing sloppy. I think that playing teams that aren’t as good help us focus on what we need to work on more.”
The Bulldogs will be competing in the Yale Round Robin this upcoming weekend at the Brady Squash Center in Payne Whitney Gymnasium against some of the top teams in the country. Two of the teams include Cornell and Stanford, which finished last season ranked sixth and seventh, respectively.
The Elis’ first match of the three-day round robin will be played Friday, Jan. 15 against Bates at 4 p.m.